April 15, 2022
Today, while on the Delta flight from NY to PJU, one of the crew members Anthony, walked up to me and asked me what this ponytail (Sikha) you have. He asked in a very friendly way. I was thinking what to tell him as he didn’t seem to know anything about spirituality. Before I could reply, he asked me are you a Hare Krishna? I was surprised and replied yes, I am. But my surprise didn’t end there. He said, “I know Srila Prabhupada. I met him a few times.” Then on his phone, he showed me a very old picture of Srila Prabhupada in NYC near 26 2nd Ave.
Even though he was a crew member and he has pressing responsibilities to attend to other passengers, he spent a few minutes narrating that he was about 7-years-old boy when he saw Srila Prabhupada first time. He is from a pious Christian background and use to attend church. He started going and talking to Srila Prabhupada casualy. Then he told church priest about Srila Prabhupada and priest told him that Srila Prabhupada was a great spiritual personality and he has no fear from him. He will never ask him for converting/changing his religion. He should go and associate with him.
Of course, he was conscious that he had to attend to other passengers, so he went away and came back after some time and again started talking about Srila Prabhupada. He said, the last time he met Srila Prabhupada in 1975. Srila Prabhupada told him, “Anthony, you are now grown up so big.” These are the last words he shared with me and he looked so happy and excited while talking about Srila Prabhupada.
I gave him my number, and asked him if he could share Srila Prabhupada’s picture with me. He took my number and while I was leaving the plane he told me that when he reaches back to NYC tomorrow, he will share the picture with me. But to my surprise, in couple of hours he shared the pictures with me. I am sharing it here.